Starting A Photo Booth Business? We Answer Your Most Asked Questions

Starting A Photo Booth Business? We Answer Your Most Asked Questions

April 27, 2019

Our sales team mentioned to our marketing team recently that they often receive similar types of questions when people are considering starting a photo booth business. Here are the top questions we receive from our customers:

Q: How much does it cost to rent a photo booth?

A: Usually between $700 to $1200 per event. Most photo booth companies have a minimum number of service hours which can range anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours. However, we find that the average rental price in the US is between $200 - $300 per hour of rental. 

Q: How much do photo booth owners make? Are photo booths profitable?

A: Photo booth rental companies can make a lot! The great thing about the photo booth rental business is that the hard costs (photo media, social sharing fees) are very inexpensive and usually average around $75-$100 per event. After these hard costs, you'll need to factor in your overhead costs like labor & business liability insurance as well as variable costs such as advertising. But given the fact that most photo booth rental businesses can operate out of a home office and the fact that the average photo booth rental price is between $700 - $1200 per event, the net revenue per event, especially for an owner operate, is very lucrative. In fact, photo booth rental businesses are so profitable that about a third of our customers come back to us when they expand their rental operation with more photo booths and larger service areas.

Q: How much does it cost to buy a photo booth?

Although all photo booths capture an image with a camera and provide photos from the photo session, there is a large range to photo booth purchase costs, from $2000 - $9000 or more depending on the type or classification of photo booth.

Q: What types of events do people rent photo booths for?

A: Weddings, for sure! But that's not all. Photo Booths are popular for other private events including birthday parties, corporate events, quinceaneras, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs and anniversary parties. People also rent photo booths for corporate events, festivals, as entertainment for concert VIP areas and large marketing events such as activations and experiential events.

Q: What is the difference between an iPad Photo Booth and a DSLR Photo Booth?

iPad Photo Booths utilize the camera and touchscreen display from an iPad to generate digital photos. Because there is less hardware in these types of photo booths pricing is much less and can range from $2000 to $3000. These types of photo booths have some super fun photo features including boomerang pics, animated GIFs and regular photos that can all be shared on social media platforms. In fact, iPad Photo Booths from HootBooth include digital props and face tracking filters that are similar to Snapchat filters.

DSLR Photo Booths are built with a professional DSLR camera, include a separate PC and touchscreen or a tablet and usually include a photo printer. Because of these high end features, a DSLR camera delivers the absolute best image quality and can instantly print photos. DSLR photo booths contain a more powerful PC advanced photo processing and can support features such as green screen, SloMo (slow motion video) and augmented reality.

Q: What is the size of a photo booth print?

A: There are three standard sizes. A photo strip is usually 2 x6". A full sized photo print is available in a 4"x6" or 5"x7" size. Photo strips usually fit 3 photos on them while a full size 4"x6" or 5"x7" print allows for larger photos and more artwork such as logos and photo overlays.

Q: How do I market my new photo booth business?

Although we go into much more detail in this blog post on how to market your new photo booth business, in summary there are four key tactics to successfully market your new photo booth business:

(1) Network with other event and wedding professionals.

(2) Offer free photo booth services for wedding venues' open houses. This way you can meet prospective clients and each photo taken in your photo booth is just like handing someone your business card!

(3) Be sure to have a great website with good photos, prominently displayed pricing and an informative Contact page with your phone number, email and links to your social media profiles.

(4) Post frequently to social media especially during and right after an event. Also posting specials or new service offerings are great topics to post on your profiles.

Q: What is an 'Open Air' photo booth?

A: Traditional photo booths from back in the day were an enclosed booth with a drape that could be closed for privacy. These were a lot of fun but the drawback is that only 2-3 people could fit inside. Modern photo booths do not have an enclosed space with a drape but are 'out in the open' which allows for large groups of people to gather around for a photo booth session. Some of the many benefits of an 'Open Air' photo booth is that they are super portable, quick and easy to set up and a backdrop is not always needed!

Q: How many pictures does a photo booth take?

A: Although it depends on how many hours a photo booth is in service at an event, the math comes out to approximately 40-50 photo booth strips with an average of 120-150 single photos per hour.

Q: Can I Customize a Photo Print Or Digital Image?

A: Yes, most photo booth software packages will allow you to add a logo or other branding elements to a photo print or to a digital image.

Q: What Is A Good Size Backdrop To Have With My Photo Booth?

A: Most photo booth backdrops are 8 feet x 8 feet (8'x8') or 10 feet x 20 feet (10'x20') to accommodate large groups of people. At HootBooth, our most popular backdrop is a reversible green & white photo booth backdrop that is a great value as it allows photo booth operators to own one backdrop that can serve as either a green screen backdrop or a white backdrop which is the universal favorite for photo booths.

Q: What is the best type of photo booth for a DJ or wedding photographer to buy?

A: Photo booths are popular service rental additions for these types of businesses. Most wedding clients will want to rent a photo booth for their wedding and one-stop shopping is always easier than renting from multiple vendors. For these types of wedding related businesses, we recommend an iPad Photo Booth from our ILLUMIN8 Photo Booth line. This is because it is super fast to setup, they are the MOST portable photo booths and they don't require an attendant to operate since they are so easy for guests to operate.